WMBTSG Day Twenty-Eight (Comment to this post to enter today’s drawing)

Welcome to day twenty-eight of the Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway. Today’s giveaway is a one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com!!!

The Essential Online Tool for Writers

If you’re serious about selling your work, meet your new personal assistant: WritersMarket.com. With a subscription to WritersMarket.com, you can easily locate new, up-to-date markets for publishing your work, get expert “insider” advice, and track your manuscript submissions and publishing contracts.

Subscribe to WritersMarket.com and discover how easy it is to:

  • Manage the business side of writing. Your personalized Dashboard will help get you organized and keep you on task.
  • Save time. New features give you at-a-glance accessibility to updated market listings, recommended resources, query reminders, and more.
  • Zero in on the right markets to send your work with faster, more targeted searching capabilities.
  • Get advice and commentary from the experts
  • <!–li>Connect with other writers through our new forum.</li–>

  • and more…

Read what other writers have to say about WritersMarket.com >


Today’s question:

We’ve talked about the nuts and bolts of pitching your writing. Now how about finding the best markets for your work in the first place. How easy or hard do you find this process? Do you become overwhelmed by the hunt? Do you find it difficult to adopt what you’ve written to suit? Or have you got market-finding down to a science? Do tell us all about your relationship to writer’s markets.

If this is your first post in the giveaway, please read “Da Rules.”

You may post your comments until midnight PST on September 28th.


29 Responses to “WMBTSG Day Twenty-Eight (Comment to this post to enter today’s drawing)”

  1. 1 Karen Lynch September 28, 2008 at 4:30 am

    Christina, I tried to make a change this past year, from searching for markets for articles I want to write to targeting specific markets before writing a single word. It didn’t work! I know these are two very different philosophies, but the former works for me — once I have the bones of an idea together, outlined, I need to find viable markets for it, then sculpt it accordingly. But when I try to start with the market … my creativity gets blocked and nothing flows.

  2. 2 Debra September 28, 2008 at 5:13 am

    To me, finding the various markets is pretty easy, as my focus is parenting and there are plenty of publications for parents, plus there are publications geared to the various subjects that welcome a parenting focus for an article or two.

    For me, adapting the same article to various markets is one of the joys of writing; I call it repackaging. The ability to repackage what I am writing, to wring all of the valuable possible out of it, is part of my criteria for deciding to write a particular article in the first place.

    The hard part, of course, is in actually getting the pieces accepted. But it’s that way for us all, isn’t it?

  3. 3 The Write Elizabeth (Elizabeth Humphrey) September 28, 2008 at 5:43 am

    I find it difficult to find the magazines and to pitch. While we have several places to buy magazines, often they may not have every magazine on a subject. So I have magazines I subscribe to and read on a regular basis. I determine that I want to pitch for them, so I pitch and its rejected. But then I am so attached to the idea I want to send it to another magazine and find that I have difficulty noticing the nuances between the various magazines. And I really want to adapt my idea to suit the other magazine, which I may not know as well as the first magazine I targeted. I have tried different ways of approaching this, but find it becomes a vicious cycle. I read lists of magazines looking for work and try to approach them with pitches, often times it seems I’m at a loss with them, as well.

  4. 4 Cheryl M September 28, 2008 at 8:19 am

    I would love to submit articles to the magazines I read. I feel like I really know their target audience and can study up on the kinds of articles they’ve accepted in the past and guess at new directions. Unfortunately, it seems very difficult for a new writer like me to break into national magazines. I am also finding it a challenge to break into smaller, more regional magazines that I may not read or have access to other than online. So, yes, it seems difficult to find the right markets for my work.

    I would, in general, prefer to write an article geared to a target magazine, but am learning how to modify an article for different publications.

  5. 5 Katrina September 28, 2008 at 9:36 am

    When I first started, finding markets was an overwhelming task. I took a class where I was told to find the magazines for which I would want to write. Not bad advice, except now I can say the majority of those magazines I really don’t want to write for, nor did back them, but I didn’t know my writing “bent” well enough yet to realize it. I think finding markets is in part, training yourself to always be on the lookout for even the small reference that could lead to a market. I read author bios, check the markets of towns I’m visiting; then there are the online sources such as woodenhorse, the aforementioned writersmarket, c.hopeclarks ezines, and other places.

  6. 6 Erika September 28, 2008 at 9:55 am

    For me, it is a work in progress. I’ve certainly had my eyes opened over the past year to all the different possibilities and now that I have a few local clips under my belt, I’m feeling more ready to take the plunge into bigger markets.

    I enjoy writing to suit a particular market. Being able to look at the style of the magazine I’m submittig to can help guide the structure of my piece.

  7. 7 Mar Junge, c3PR September 28, 2008 at 10:05 am

    My article submission world is different than that of the typical freelance writer mama. PR professionals must place stories often, or their clients will go elsewhere. To do so, we need tools that give us access to the topics editors are interested in. For example, I would love to have a subscription to the leading PR software with listings and editorial calendars for idustry trade publications. But at $5,000/year, it’s a little steep for our boutique agency. So we make do with another software package that is a more labor-intensive way of getting the scoop on magazines, media, editors, special issues, etc. But even that costs us $500/year for the basic version and another $200/year for in-depth editor profiles. Until now, I hadn’t checked out the online version of Writers Market. I went to their website and was amazed. For $29 a year, how could a serious writer pass this up? That’s less than $3 a month!

    Writer mamas, if you want to succeed as a professional writer, invest in all the tools and training classes you can afford. In the long run, these classes and products, many of them tax-deductible, will pay for themselves with the income you bring in as a professional writer.

  8. 8 rowena September 28, 2008 at 10:18 am

    My relationships to writer’s markets? Distant.

    Years ago (oh, 10 or so) when I was a writer and artist making a living as a waitress, I made a decision to really focus on being a freelance writer… unless I got into grad school to become a teacher. I sent in my application and meanwhile, started researching the markets… then I got into school, and for the next 6 years that’s where the energy went.

    Then I quit to focus on writing and I got a few reviews in a neighborhood magazine and started the research process again…. and then I got pregnant and the whole thing went out the window.

    So here I am, a few years later, ready to dive in again, and finding that I have forgotten how to swim.

  9. 9 Cheryl Rainfield September 28, 2008 at 10:29 am

    I think it’s a lot easier to find markets now than it was, say, 10 years ago. There is so much more info online, from blogs to sites to egroups. SCBWI is a good resource, as is the yearly market books published by Writer’s Digest (the publishers and the agents). WritersMarket.com is also a great resource. I’ve found a lot of markets using the internet, and I keep finding them.

    I think it’s so important to research and really target submissions–you’re more likely to get published that way. I try hard to do that.

  10. 10 writerinspired September 28, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Overwhelmed by the hunt is exactly how I would describe it. Finding markets to pitch- not a problem, I subscribe to many writing market newsletters, like FFW and Writing for Dollars. Problem is trying to focus my thoughts to accommodate the needs of the publication. For instance, I have 3 well written pieces I crafted in Christina’s Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff. I am still looking for a home for these articles and feel so overwhelmed by the mass of markets available out there that “kinda” fit my ideas.
    I take time browsing the magazine(s) at the library or bookstore to get their tone, but I must be missing something. Help!

  11. 11 Meryl K. Evans September 28, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I don’t think it’s difficult to find magazines to pitch because I tend to read the ones I specialize in. And since I don’t make magazines a big part of my career, I don’t worry about pitching a variation of the topic to other magazines that I don’t read. If I want to find others, I can refer to my notes that I keep whenever I come across a potential magazine or open the big ol’ Writer’s Markets book.

  12. 12 Cathy September 28, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I’m surprised at how much time I spend finding markets and promoting myself…probably about half my writing time is filled with those chores rather than actually writing!

    Finding markets is getting easier as I add repeat markets and get to know what these mags are looking for, but that’s mainly with my essay writing and non-fiction stuff. Finding markets for my children’s stuff (fiction and non-fiction) is much more time-consuming since I’m starting new with kid’s magazines.

    And when it comes to repurposing my stuff, I think I’ve got that down to an art 🙂

  13. 13 Amie H September 28, 2008 at 11:47 am

    When I search for publications on the internet the sheer number of potential markets can be paralyzing. I have found it helpful to focus on a particular area and read as many as I can. I notice the variations in voice and try to find the one that fits mine best. I still have to tweak my writing but at least I have a good starting point. Since I don’t have much time, I have found this approach a little more manageable. My clips build off each other and when I submit to another publication I know that they are probably at least somewhat familiar with the publications I have previously written for because they are in the same interest area. I may not have conquered the big names in the market yet but I am getting my footing and someday hope to have the persistence and patience to get there.

  14. 14 JulieP September 28, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Finding the market to match my writing has been easy for me. So easy that I’ve recently been able to match others’ writing to publications and suggest them to the writers. Perhaps its because I read a lot of magazines and am familiar with media in general.

    Unfortunately, as should be no surprise with our economy, one of the pubs I was working to pitch this fall recently announced it is closing doors. I’m terrified this will continue to happen in the future.

    Of course, there are so many more publications that I have yet to learn about that I look forward to finding more writing opportunities to suit my needs.

  15. 15 Joelle September 28, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I am awful at finding markets for my work. Really awful. That’s probably one of the top things that keeps from trying to write more for magazines. I might have an idea and even an angle for an article, but once I try to research possible publications it’s like my mind freezes up and can’t see how any magazine would be interested. Part of the problem is, I feel like I need ALL the information on a magazine, information that comes from being able to pore over its pages. I need to learn to get over that and make judgements based on info I can get online from tools like WritersMarket.com.

  16. 16 Cara September 28, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    When I first started looking for markets for my writings, it was positively overwhelming. It seems there are no shortage of contests, literary magazines, journals, websites, ezines, anthologies and print magazines out there looking for submissions. The trick, I think, is to narrow your focus and concentrate on those that are the best match. This of course takes a fair amount of time, to research possible markets for my submissions, but I find it time well spent. At this point in my career, my ideal markets are websites, ezines and my favorite of all, anthologies.

    The beauty of anthologies is there is no strictly set format you must adhere to, besides a general topic and a maximum word count. Of course, each anthology has its own flavor, with “uplifting” seeming to be a common buzzword among them, but as the aim is to gather a variety of writing styles and experiences, I find that this is where I can be the freest in my writing, which for me, after all, is what it’s all about!

  17. 17 Adrienne September 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I do an adequate job of researching markets, but I could be doing much better. I to a lot of passive trolling via market listservs like CRWOPPS and PayingWriters, and also subscribe to Duotrope, The Practical Writer and similar e-materials that bring information to me. When I find the website of a potential market, I list it in a database I keep and also check the website for links to similar magazines.

    I haven’t tried looking deeply into print or regional magazines, but I suspect those are good sources for publishing short personal essays or perspectives.

    As a former freelance grantwriter, I know how valuable an online database can be for research. I have stayed away from print directories because it can take a year or longer just to get information for each issue, making each edition out of date by the time it’s printed. Online research tools can be easily updated making them invaluable.

    My greatest difficulty right now is time. I have a three month old at home, and she leaves me just barely enough time to do free writing towards my book and revisions of DRAFT chapters, I have virtually no time to look for new markets for existing (but as of yet unpublished) personal essays. I would love to have access to an online market research tool right now. It may be the only way I’ll be able to quickly and effectively look for markets for my older pieces. So, I will investigate Writer’s Market.

  18. 18 Laura September 28, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    For me, finding the best markets for my work is very hard. I have only submitted to two magazines, both of which I grew up reading. (Granted, I got published in one of them…) Finding new markets for potential submission is very new to me. Since reading the question on anthologies, I have been working on essays for two of them. Finding other potential markets is very confusing to me. I really need the help of this service.

  19. 19 Jaymie September 28, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    The market-related books are a wonderful tool, but it is easy to get lost in them, trying to find the right category, or reading through entry after entry trying to find the right fit. I also never know how much time I should spend in such research. If I have two hours of free time to write, should I use it all to write? Should I use half, or a quarter, to do some research? Should I research in advance and write a piece to fit the market or should I write first and research second? So many questions….

  20. 20 Stephanie Craig September 28, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Finding the right markets for my work if very hard for me. I can get so bogged down in the search, it takes the fun out of writing. I don’t know if I should write something first and then find a place to submit it, but it may not be perfect for that publication. Maybe I should find a publication to write for then write the article specifically for them. I know that some writers have used the same article for more than one publication, thus making more money with the same article. But I haven’t done that yet either. I think I make it too hard.

  21. 21 Kathleen September 28, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Market searches are fairly easy for me, primarily because I have about a half-dozen topics for which I feel best suited to write. For example, in my equine writing, I subscribe to Google alert to find out what’s happening in the horse indistry.

    From time to time, I do a search to find out what new markets are out there, but mostly I pitch article ideas to the handful of magazines for which I have written in the past. With my track record already extablished, editors are more likely to pay more than if I were always pitching to new markets. They know my style, my reliability in eeting deadlines and my willingness to work with them to refine a topic.

  22. 22 Pam September 28, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I do not have finding writers markets down to a science. It is rather challenging and time consuming for me. Finding markets for my writing is harder than I thought it would be. I can spend hours researching magazine guidelines online and never find the perfect market for what I have written. I do get overwhelmed and ready to pull my hair out. I am now trying to find a magazine that I like (or my 5 year old likes), research it and the types of stories and articles they want, then write from there. I think it is easier to start fresh than having to adapt what I have written to fit a certain market. One of the hardest parts is cutting the word count. It seems like all the time and effort I put into the story, it needs to stay like I wrote it. It feels personal to cut things I have written to be within the word count.

    I enjoy looking at all the various writer’s markets. Just recently, I have been hunting for the perfect publisher for a children’s book. I have requested many catalogs and received many in return. It is very exciting to think that one day my book may be among those in those colorful pages!

  23. 23 Rosemary Lombard September 28, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    One of my favorite gifts was a copy of the book version of Writer’s Market. It’s within reach of my desk, and I consult it frequently, though my 1995 edition is ancient by publishing industry standards and I’ve never had a subscription to WritersMarket.com. That being said, tracking information online is the next stop for updating what I’ve found. That’s easy, though it’s easy, too, to get off track. I keep good sites in my many Favorites subheads under Writing and Publishing, read announcements of opportunities in various subscriptions (Funds for Writers, Willamette Writers, for example), and study instructions for submission on the sites or in the hard copies of the publications of interest. I find out these kinds of things: Agent-suggested magazine X doesn’t take unsolicited nonfiction anymore, and, from examining the articles in my suggestion, magazine Y, I find that their authors are more journalists than first-person reporters. So I look on. The hardest thing for me is to keep priorities in mind and just submit articles in my field, limiting my effort to the publications or kinds of papers that would be most helpful to the platform for the big project.

  24. 24 Renee September 28, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I don’t have much of a problem finding markets for my work. I have a problem finding the time (between working a part-time editorial job and keeping up with my two small children) tailoring my work and queries to fit all the markets! I have the latest edition of the Writer’s Market sitting on my bookshelf as we speak, yet it has hardly been cracked open. I do have to say that in my new job I’m learning so much reading the queries from other freelance writers and seeing how much potential there is simply in reprints. I keep telling myself over the Christmas holiday I’ll get more organized and start trying to match my own reprint material to appropriate markets. Now, that will actually happen remains to be seen!

  25. 25 marnini September 28, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Finding the market for my writing is never really my problem, trying to break through to the markets is the challenge.
    I tend to write from the heart and simple things inspire me. I end up writing first and then try to figure out where I would market the piece. I think if I first focus on the writing market’s interest, I would have a better chance for publication.

  26. 26 Jennifer September 28, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    I’m finding that markets are the “ick” part of writing for me. I’m stuck feeling like I’m in the middle of a chicken-egg conundrum. If I find the market first, I feel constrained by the style of writing or the subject matter and have trouble coming up with ideas. If I write the article first (my preference), I end up spending fruitless hours perusing the internet or looking through magazine racks at the library or at Barnes & Noble and end up without a fit. Ug.

    I would love for this to be easy, but I’m afraid the answer might be time. I imagine the more time you spend submitting, the more information you have about available publications, the more likely you’ll know where and how to pitch a piece.

  27. 27 Christine September 28, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Finding markets seems to be easy enough. Researching those markets so that I feel a comfort level with their style, content, angle, etc. is a bit more trying. As a busy mom I only have so much time and money to devote to reading and researching. Trips to the library with my little tribe are madness. And our library closes so early that evening trips are not possible. So getting to know the markets I wish to submit to on an intimate level has not been easy. Adapting my writing and ideas to a particular stlye or format I don’t find all that difficult — but I do get overwhelmed trying to keep track of the different magazines and markets and their various differences. I feel as if I’m constantly reinventing the wheel as I go back over the same mags looking for cues for what they want. Is there a short-cut somewhere I’m missing?

  28. 28 Sarah K. September 28, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I find market hunting absolutely thrilling! In fact, I have to give myself a limit as to how much time I can spend doing it. I can see how it can be overwhelming, but the sheer challenge of it all excites me. Each time I find a new market I can just envision all the opportunities that lay in my path. Needless to say, I really really want to subscribe to Writer’s Market, but at this point just cannot afford it. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 🙂

  1. 1 WMBTSG Day Twenty-Eight Drawing: And the winner is… « The Writer Mama Riffs Trackback on September 29, 2008 at 8:00 pm
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